The President of Ticketmaster was set to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday over last November’s fiasco surrounding Taylor Swift concert ticket sales.
Joe Berchtold, President of Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation, was expected to claim that a cyberattack led to the problems that caused the massive slowdown in ticket sales, according to prepared remarks.
The Chair of the Judiciary Committee’s Antitrust Subcommittee, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), called for the hearings back in November following the meltdown that created outrage among fans left without tickets to Swift’s 2023 concert tour—her first tour in five years.
Ticketmaster had canceled ticket sales to the general public after more than 3.5 billion requests from Swift fans, bots and scalpers overwhelmed its website.
At the time, Klobuchar had said the issue was bigger than just the ticket sales meltdown, adding, “It’s about prices, hidden fees that are way too high. It’s about site disruptions.”
At Tuesday’s hearing, Berchtold was expected to say that during the Swift ticket chaos, Ticketmaster was “hit with three times the amount of bot traffic than we had ever experienced, and for the first time in 400 Verified Fan on-sales, they came after our Verified Fan access code servers.”
Berchtold’s remarks emphasized that the hackers did not manage to illegally obtain any tickets. He also said that the company could have taken other measures to improve the sales as well.
“In hindsight there are several things we could have done better—including staggering the sales over a longer period of time and doing a better job setting fan expectations for getting tickets,” his prepared remarks said.
Ticketmaster reportedly commands more than 70% market share of primary ticket services for major U.S. concert venues.